There is a reason why people should not be allowed to sleep on public sidewalks or freeway underpasses or parks or subway stations: taxpayers funded those projects.
People do not have a right to set up camp anywhere they please, and if they have nowhere to sleep, then they must go to a shelter. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have allowed whole sections to become third-world countries due to their relaxed policies on homelessness.
At least one city, albeit a tiny one, in Colorado will not allow for this degradation to occur. With a 5-0 vote, the city of Durango has made it illegal to "sit or lie down on downtown sidewalks, curbs or other public areas," according to Fox local.
Durango's downtown boasts an array of historic buildings going back to the late 19th century and the city enjoys a robust influx of tourism throughout the winter and summer seasons. By enacting the law, the Durango City Council has retroactively decided to protect the aesthetic of their city and the safety of their residents.
"Council member Dick White says the ordinance is meant to improve the safety and atmosphere in the city's downtown," says the report. "The rule bans sitting or lying down on sidewalks, curbs, streets, railways, alleys, parking spaces or other publicly owned property for pedestrian or vehicle travel in the downtown area from 7 a.m. to 2:30 am."
"The rule was billed as a safety measure because of the hazards of navigating around people blocking sidewalks and areas where cars drive," it continued. "The ordinance noted that tourists are often not familiar with the area leading to increased concerns about safety."
The city council acted in response to numerous complaints from business owners and visitors who were upset over the sight of people treating the sidewalk like their living room. Violators can be fined for up to $200.
People experiencing medical emergencies, disability issues, and children in strollers are exempt. People attending parades would also be given a pass. People will also be allowed to "rest" on benches.
On the West Coast, the leftist haven, the homeless problem has reached crisis-level proportions, especially in Los Angeles, where the number of men and women living on the street is surpassing the supply of new housing, according to the L.A. Times.
A report from L.A. county's homelessness agency shows that city officials have been underestimating the needed amount of new housing, ensuring that the city's "$73-million annual shortfall in funding for the comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple."
"Providing permanent housing for the county's chronically homeless population would require more than 20,000 new units, about 5,000 more than projected two years ago," reports the Times. "The estimated shortage of emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies also increased by double-digit percentages."
In the past two years, Los Angeles has seen a spike in tent encampments that coincides with rising costs of housing. Just last year, the massive fire in the city's Sepulveda pass was sparked by a homeless encampment, causing lost homes and damage to public property.